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Man sentenced to life on sexual battery charge

A middle-aged Bogue Chitto man was sentenced to a life behindbars Wednesday for playing strip poker with young teenagers andsexually assaulting the girl.

Circuit Court Judge Mike Taylor sentenced William ThomasRollins, 39, to a life in prison for sexual battery, the maximum 15years in prison for touching a child for lustful purposes and 364days in the county jail for each of two counts of contributing tothe delinquency of a minor. The sentences are to runconsecutively.

“Given the likelihood you will not be able pay it, I will notassess any fines in this case,” Taylor said, implying theconsecutive sentences would keep Rollins in jail for most, if notall, of his life.

During a three-day trial last week, Rollins was convicted ofroutinely playing strip poker with a male and female teenager andcommitting sexual battery on the female on at least one occasion.Also, the jury found that during the course of the game, Rollinswould dare or instruct the children to touch each other in asexually inappropriate manner.

“You have been found guilty for some particularly reprehensiblecrimes. Your conduct is not only illegal, but depraved anddisgusting,” Taylor said in handing down the sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Diane Jones had requested the judgegive Rollins no leniency during sentencing.

“This is one of the most sickening cases I’ve ever had to try,”she said.

Jones said not only did Rollins sexually assault the 13-year-oldfemale, but he included a 12-year-old boy in the depravity.

Attorney L. Ivan Burghard, who represented Rollins, asked thejudge to consider the circumstances leading to Rollins’ crime. Hepointed to a number of sexual improprieties among his family thatcame to light during trial.

“Sickening also describes the entire state of this familysystem,” Burghard said.

A week after the arrest of William Rollins, his father62-year-old Willie Rollins and 35-year-old stepmother, Betty LouRollins, were arrested and charged with misdemeanor disseminationof sexually explicit material. They were released on bond shortlyafter their arrest.

While executing a search warrant at the home of Willie Rollinsand Betty Lou Rollins, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department deputiesconfiscated pornographic material. The Rollinses were allegedlyallowing a child to watch pornographic movies, according to reportsat the time of the arrest.

Authorities have never disclosed if the two cases were relatedor how deputies obtained information on the parents.